The next door neighbor died two months ago. He was a crabby old man of 89. I didn't have much to do with him or his wife because they just spent too much time complaining but I did take their trash cans out to the road before trash day and brought them back up to the house after trash pickup. Just because you don't like someone doesn't mean you don't have to help them out...
This was the same neighbor who hated my brush pile across the front of the property. He complained to everyone and everyplace possible to try to have me forced to remove it. Unfortunately for him there's no laws saying I can have a 150 foot long pile of brush along my front fence. I have berries planted in front of the pile and this spring I expect the plants to take off and start to cover the piles. It will start looking better soon. It's too late for the neighbor though.
After living in the house for 30 years, his three kids (all in their 50s and 60s) packed up their mom and moved her into an apartment three hours from here. She has a brother in the town she moved to. Of course none of the three kids lives near there. Today the kids and grand kids were over at the house. They had several U-haul trailers and were moving all the furniture out. They also had a 30 foot dumpster delivered and they filled it up with whatever they didn't want from the house. No putting stuff out on the road with a big "free" sign for them. It was pretty sad to see someones life just get thrown into the dumpster.
I took a stroll next door to let them know that we are watching over the place and will make sure that all goes well. One of the sons said there's no problem with their place but he'd be happy to send their gardener over to talk to me about me hiring the gardener to clear out my brush. No. It's not going anywhere. I told him my brush pile is an ecological gold mine! The quail population just boomed this year because of the brush. He let me know in no uncertain terms that quail aren't good for anything other than having rouge hunters show up in my front yard and shoot GUNS. Oh no, they wouldn't do that...But I would! He was not happy with me and he turned around and walked away grumbling. Like father like son.
The house has been for sale for a while. Hopefully it will sell to someone who isn't so grumpy. The grand kids want kids to move in. That would be nice, maybe.
The town where oldest daughter lives has yard trash pickup twice a year. You take all your junk, tree trimmings, old furniture, whatever you want and put it into the street in front of your house. The city trash trucks come and pick everything up. Usually when you put stuff out junk collectors come buy and pick a lot of it up. Usually we clean stuff up here at the farm and bring it to oldest daughters for the pickup. This afternoon boy and girl were helping me clean up the mess on the side of the barn. This used to be the bigger kids play area a couple of years ago. They'd find all kinds of junk and make secret rooms with the junk and have weeds thrown on top. They used small scraps of fencing wire, wood with tons of nails poking through (that they pounded in to the wood), old carpet that I tore out of the house about 8 years ago, and anything they could scavenge from the yard and barns. The bigger kids don't play there anymore. Now they work on their truck. So we spent a couple of hours cleaning it all up and loading it into the trailer. It will head into town Tuesday. I was explaining to boy that some of the stuff will get picked up before the trash collectors come. "One man's trash is another man's treasure." He liked that saying. We've gone around her neighborhood and picked up about 1/2 cord of wood, oldest daughter got her sofa table from someone's junk pile. The side of the barn is now a 25X100 foot pasture area for the sheep. The grass is coming in well and I'm sure they will love it in another month or so when I let them graze there.
This morning when the kids were in Sunday school I ran over to Target to return some items and also to buy boy some new pants. All his pants except two pairs are beyond repair for school. He's not yet into a size 10 and barely still fitting into an 8. I hate to spend much money on clothes that he's going to outgrow. On the other hand, he's been so hard on his clothes lately that he'll have them ruined long before they're outgrown. While I was walking through Target I was looking for good items for prepping. The only thing I found was a string of lights (like Christmas lights) that were solar. But the price was almost $30. I really didn't see anything else in the entire store that was calling out for me to buy.
I'm trying to figure out if it's because I'm on a no spending streak again or if it's because there really isn't anything worth buying. I'm going to have some extra money this year from my tax return. I have my deductions set fine but somehow because of credits for having the grand kids I seem to keep getting money back. It's not going to be anything like last year where I got double digits due to adoption credits. But still, it's going to be a good chunk of money. All my bills are paid: no outstanding credit cards, the property taxes are paid until next December, the insurance is all paid up. I'd say the money would be for saving but I am adverse to putting money into the bank to save when they are paying less than one percent interest. I'd rather invest it back into the house. Or put it all in silver and store it in the safe until I figure out what I want to do.
Last year we spent a lot of the tax money setting the garden up. I expect to buy more fruit trees this spring. I am also going to personally plant fruit trees at the bug-out place. I want to add more to the home store. Can't ever have too much food stored, can you? I want to get an above ground swimming pool, not our stock tank swimming pool for the kids, but one to start our hand at fish farming. I figure if I put the pool in a greenhouse then during the winter it won't get too cold for the fish. Also, there's solar aerators so it wouldn't need electricity to help put oxygen into the pool. I'll buy more ammunition. That is something that I haven't done enough of this year. I used to buy a box of ammo each time I'd buy milk. But lately since we've been drinking powdered milk I've gotten out of the ammo buying habit. I'm also trying to research the sun room, but that may have to wait for another year.